The Suburban East Conference title has been decided, but the Stillwater girls’ hockey team is still chasing second place following Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Cretin-Derham Hall at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center.
The Ponies (11-5-0 SEC, 13-9-1) can pull even with rival Roseville (12-4-0, 16-7-0) with a victory on Thursday and close out the regular season by hosting White Bear Lake on Feb. 9. Mounds View (15-0-1, 22-0-1) has already locked up the league championship while Cretin-Derham Hall (9-7-0, 13-10-0) remains in fourth.
“This was definitely a big win for us in the conference and in the section,” Stillwater coach Tony Scheid said. “They were coming off a 1-0 win against Roseville earlier in the week so everything is kind of bunching up in the conference for a lot of teams. Mounds View is going to win the conference, but second place is up for grabs right now so there’s something to play for there. In a year like this, for Mounds View to go unbeaten and win this conference in that fashion, I couldn’t see any team in our conference doing that this year.”
Stillwater jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Ali Biagini and Sierra Smith scored in the first three minutes of the second and third period to help the Ponies pull away. Biagini’s goal came off a rebound on a shot by Carlie Hart at 10:00 of the opening period.
“Anytime you can score early in the period and get that first goal of the game that is always big and always helps,” Scheid said. “It’s huge when you can score first in the game or early in the period. Those are the kind of things that hopefully we can get here in the playoffs.”
Smith scored at 1:56 of the second period on an assist by Katie Casto and added her second goal at 2:52 of the third period.
“Sierra Smith had a big night and she continually gets better,” Scheid said. “Her speed has really picked up. She was fast at the start of the season, but she is definitely getting faster and she’s definitely pushing that for us.”
Allison Pasiuk earned the shutout in goal for the Ponies while stopping 24 shots.
“We played well defensively and in the D-zone we played really smart and made a lot of really good outlet passes,” Scheid said. “The defense got the puck out and we got good goaltending from Allie Pasiuk.”
Cretin-Derham Hall 0 0 0 — 0
Stillwater 1 1 1 — 3
First period — 1. St, Ali Biagini (Carlie Hart) 10:00.
Second period — 2. St, Sierra Smith (Hart, Katie Casto) 1:56.
Third period — 3. St, Smith (unassisted) 2:52.
Penalties — C-DH, 1-2:00; St, 3-6:00.
Saves — C-DH (Emma May) 6-12-11—29; St (Allison Pasiuk) 7-9-8—24.